Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:08

European pellet consumption expected to triple by 2020

The European Union recently published its annual biofuels report for 2013 with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. The report reveals that the EU is the world’s largest wood pellets market, with a consumption of about 14.3 MMT of pellets in 2012.

Driven by the EC mandates and Member State incentives, the demand is expected to expand further to about 17 MMT in 2014.

Consumption forecasts for 2020 range from 35 MMT for Western Europe (Pöyry) to 50 – 80 MMT for the total EU (AEBIOM). Future consumption will however, depend on a range of market and policy factors.

Wood Pellets (1,000 MT)
Calendar Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Beginning Stocks

500 167 771 1244 620 999 777 877 907
Production 3,520 5,782 6,294 6,669 9,241 9,620 10,000 10,150 10,300
Imports 800 900 1,250 1,771 2,610 3,226 4,490 6000 7000
Exports 50 50 50 64 72 68 90 120 160
Consumption 4,603 6,028 7,021 9,000 11,400 13,000 14,300 16,000 17,100
Ending Stocks 167 771 1,244 620 999 777 877 907 947
Production Capacity
Number of Plants       499   670      
Capacity 6,643 8,583 11,283 13,694 14,845 15,500 16,000 16,200 16,400
Capacity Use (%) 53.0% 67.4% 55.8% 48.7% 62.2% 62.1% 62.5% 62.7% 62.8%

                                                                                                                                        

Germany and Sweden are the largest pellets producers in the EU. In 2011, Swedish production fell by about 300,000 MT. The production cut has been partly replaced by competitive imports from the Baltic Region and Russia. During 2010, 2011 and 2012, Swedish imports have been increasing rapidly, mainly to the large - scale users.

Wood Pellets (1,000 MT)
Calendar Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Germany

1,100 1,460 1,600 1,750 1,880 2,000 2,000

Sweden

1,360 1,580 1,580 1,650 1,340 1,340 1,350

Austria

700 625 695 850 940 890 950
Portugal - - 400 550 650 650 650
France 190 240 350 350 550 600 600
Italy 600 700 550 600 470 600 600
Poland 329 378 400 410 410 410 410
Total 5,782 6,294 6,669 9,241 9,620 10,000 10,150

                                                                                                                                                  

In the other major producing EU Member States, production is expected to remain stagnant or increase only marginally. The weak investment climate and the limited availability of feedstock supplies are constraining further capacity and production growth. The major raw material for pellets has traditionally been sawdust and byproducts from sawmills.

With the increasing competition for the sawdust resources, a broader sustainable raw material basis is becoming necessary. There is an increased interest in forest residues, wood waste and agricultural residues.

In Central Europe some expansion is anticipated, mainly supplying the residential heating market in that region. Capacity growth for supplying the demand in northwestern Europe will however not be sufficient. Overall, EU wood pellet production is not expected to be able to keep up with the domestic demand.

source: ihb.de

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